Alaska- the big picture...
Prince of Wales Island is the southern-most island of the Alexander Archipelago in Southeast Alaska, this area is known as the Inside Passage. It is the third-largest island in the United States (after Hawaii, Kodiak Island) and the 97th-largest island in the world.
Prince of Wales
(known to residents as POW)
POW is 140 miles long, 45 miles wide and has an area of 2,577 sq. mi. about 1/10 the size of Ireland and slightly larger than the state of Delaware. The 990-mile coastline meanders around numerous bays, coves, saltwater straits and protected islands. There are chains of inland lakes, and the island is scattered with USFS cabins in the wilderness that you can rent. We have the most extensive road system in the Inside Passage, some of which was designated in 2010 as Alaska Scenic Byways. With 1300 miles of paved or maintained gravel roads, and several hundred miles of logging roads.
Prince of Wales Island
is a vast, rugged island, the perfect destination for adventurous visitors! You can find unusual attractions like caves, there are karst formations of more than 850 caves. We have whales, mountains, magnificent forests, bald eagles, and migratory birds .You can watch salmon attempt to negotiate fish ladders, or see them spawning, watch hungry black bears from viewing platforms, see Sitka Black-Tailed deer, or maybe spot the elusive wolf! We have friendly small towns and trails that take you to solitude. We have room for whatever you choose to pursue! We are unique in the 49th state in offering easy access to two proud Native cultures and to historic logging towns.
Encounters with the natural world and human history never become routine up here. Rocky shorelines touched by clean, green depths, teeming ocean shallows and mountainsides that nurture deer and wildflowers show that nature has put a lot of work into our island. Plentiful fresh water provides fishers and paddlers alike with opportunities to enjoy streams and lakes. Artistic figures painstakingly gouged into rock hundreds of years ago and logging gear shut down decades back testify to the human presence in this lush land.
Most of the Island is in the largest national forest in the United States. Tongass National Forest spans 500 miles from southern POW through Glacier Bay and up, nearly 17 million acres. The island is characterized by steep, forested mountains with peaks at 2,000-3,000 feet Glacial ice left deep U-shaped valleys for streams, lakes, saltwater straits and bays.